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 "I've asked at least ten people here in France to help me understand the process whereby it became self-evident that health care is a human right, and the vast majority have only a sketchy notion."

  That's a fascinating comment.  

  I think that there must surely be a very thorough body of academic work on the process of creating and transmitting phenomena that we're talking about here, social identities, national identities.  This surely involves much myth-making in it.  But the myths have to be sturdy enough to actually "do work", "carry a load" in a conceptual and imaginational sense.  When they no longer do that, when they fail, something quite vital is lost and that entails a real period of danger, of risk.  But these processes have been repeated over history.  The British weren't always British, the "Romans" weren't always an imperial power.  When they "became" these, they had to in some way fashion a sense of identity as being such, just as, before, during and after the American revolution, the colonists had to fashion one for a "people" (who before were "Virginians", or "Pennsylvanians," or "New Yorkers" but not "Americans of the United States of America" until later;  then, later, with Rome, when Rome fell, an identity had also to fall and be replaced by something else.  This will happen as a result of "facts on the ground."  But, I wonder if people who see that a former myth-set is no longer effective and a former identity-set no longer serves the social needs these mental constructions have to serve can in some way help the creation of a new conception.

  "We compete. We don't plan to stop. End of story."

  Nature and limits she carries inherently shall "stop us" "one way or another".  As the saying goes, "Things that can't go on forever don't."  So, "our plans" won't make a bit of difference to nature---and never did.  If we can't learn that lesson peacefully, it will be forced on us violently.  Of course, you know all that already, I'm just sayin'.

    Also, I'm more and more convinced that the perculiarly American version of the "Protestant Ethic", as well as B. Franklin's philosophy of thriftiness, so fiercely transmitted as a secular American religion throughout the social ranks---down, even, to today!, are, together, at or near the top of the worst social elements of American society, poisoning and infecting everything about the society as only the worst kind of cancer could do.  

  Our myths are exhausted, our identities no longer "work" and we are now as a society bewildered, trying to guess at what troubles beset us and coming up with little in constructive understanding.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Wed Oct 21st, 2009 at 03:12:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
proximity1:
Our myths are exhausted, our identities no longer "work" and we are now as a society bewildered, trying to guess at what troubles beset us and coming up with little in constructive understanding.

To me that is a major opportunity: a vacuum to fill.

Our challenge is to create a new myth/narrative.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Oct 21st, 2009 at 04:44:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely!

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 21st, 2009 at 05:12:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

  yes, it is an opportunity--- or certainly could be seen as such.  But, if it's not recognized, not seized, then it's an opportunity missed.

 

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 at 09:21:39 AM EST
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